If you’ve been following me for more than a month or so, then you know we’re making a big change in our homeschool this year. After years and years of doing our own eclectic curriculum thing — which has been great, don’t get me wrong — this year we have chosen to go with an actual all-in-one curriculum. Deciding to do Classical Conversations and join the local CC community is going to change much of how we’ve done homeschool the last several years — including our homeschool schedule.
I must confess that as the kids head off to college and my student load becomes lighter, we’ve been really slacking when it comes to keeping to a schedule. We’ve become rather free and easy about how we fill our days. In some ways this has been great — it sure is nice to choose to let school go for a day or two when The Man is home for awhile after traveling for work… But in other ways, it’s not so great. As in the fact that a couple of the kids are still working on finishing up some subjects, here in the beginning of August. Um, not likin’ that so much…
As I look at what must happen for Classical Conversations — that the kids will be part of a class that has a syllabus, so books must be read in the time-frame necessary to be able to participate in discussion on the scheduled day, papers must be written and submitted for feedback, etc. — I am beginning to realize that our “do what I feel like doing now” ways will have to change.
So, to answer the question I asked in my title — do I want to submit myself to a homeschool schedule for high school? — the answer is going to be YES. If my kids are going to get their work done within the time expected, so that they can participate in discussions to the extent that makes our financial investment worthwhile, we will need to keep to a pretty tight timetable.
Another factor in this equation is that I am now what’s called a WAHM — a work-at-home mom. To be honest, it never felt to me like I wasn’t working at home (am I right???); but now that I’m writing a blog, I guess I qualify for the acronym, lol. I have definitely noticed this little job of mine encroaching upon other all areas of my life, including homeschool. I mean, just because I promote independent learning doesn’t mean I don’t have a vital role in our homeschool. I am chief grader, encourager, question-answerer, and whip-cracker (not necessarily in that order, lol). I need to be involved in my kids’ homeschooling hours, not tied up with my computer. So I’ve been thinking about scheduling my own duties for awhile, and I think now is the time to make a commitment to determining some work hours and sticking to them.
FOR ANYONE ELSE HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL, though, even if you’re not doing a more regimented curriculum like we are, I would still recommend a schedule. This is a case of don’t do what I did. Don’t let everyone slack and do their own thing all day. It leads to decreased motivation and performance. Our homeschool got in a rut. Start the school year with a detailed schedule — then you can always adapt it to better meet everyone’s needs as the months go by. This is called doing the hard work of being the parent and the adult. More on that later.
So, as I recommended in my post about the tasks that a homeschool mom should complete over summer break, I’ve been giving some thought to what our daily schedule should look like. Here is what I’ve come up with:
Our proposed homeschool schedule for high school this year
6am My alarm goes off. I will
hit the snooze button get up and drink a glass of water, make some coffee, and slowly wake up. This will be an ouch new, because I’ve been living without an alarm for awhile and just waking up naturally.
6:30-7am Personal Bible time for me as an individual. I’m being redundant on purpose, lol. This is MY time with my Bible and my Lord. I think I’m gonna need it even more than I do now, which is saying something! :-)
7-8am Blogging. There are tasks that must be done daily to keep this blog being seen by intelligent readers such as yourself. :-) This is the time I will do these. It will be hard to stop at 8am, but if I work efficiently, I think I can do it.
8am Make sure kids are awake. I think I’ll have them set alarms, too. Because with teenagers, waking up in the morning can be difficult… afternoon, not so much, lol.
8-8:30am BREAKFAST. This is a very necessary part of my life — ain’t nobody who wants to experience me as a hangry person! And I’ll make some for the kids, too. We’ll either have eggs (most days) or maybe some Cinnamon Protein Pancakes or High Protein Breakfast Shakes. (Yes, these are shameless plugs for my own recipes. But don’t let that stop you from checking them out! They are EASY and CHEAP! :-) )
8:30-9am CHORES. I’ve REALLY let this part of our lives slide this year. When all the kids were home and everyone was younger, I was a stickler for chore charts and everyone working on maintaining the home. Lately there has been less work to do, since not everyone lives here all the time anymore — but that means my younger kids are getting away with murder as far as learning housekeeping goes. Well, NOT. ANY. MORE. Stay tuned for a post on appropriate tasks and scheduling for teenagers to help around the house!
9 – 9:30am CORPORATE BIBLE TIME. This is another area that we have been neglecting. And it’s been showing in our behavior towards one another… sigh. I’m anxious to try a new Bible study curriculum that I recently discovered that is supposed to be appropriate for all ages. I’ll let you know how it goes.
9:30am-12pm School. The kids will get to decide the order in which they do their subjects (one of the perks of having older kids!), but in the morning they need to pick those that they might need more help on — because this slot is going to be MY schooltime, too. I will sit with the kids and instruct as necessary, answer questions, work through math problems, and also be doing grading and planning and other teacher tasks. I’ve noticed my kids lose motivation when I am not in the trenches with them for at least part of the day. Time to remedy that.
12-1pm LUNCH. I think we’ll need a big break by this point. And I will undoubtedly be hungry! So we’ll take a full hour to eat and decompress.
1-4:30pm More school for the kids; more blogging for me. This gives us a total of 6 hours of school time. I’m hoping that it will be too much, but CC says to allow one hour per subject per day, so that’s what we’ll do. In the afternoon, I won’t necessarily be right there with them. I’ll need to put some more hours into the blog — that may be in the same room, or it might be in a separate room if I need to concentrate on writing. I’ll still be available for questions, though.
4:30 -6(ish)pm Dinner prep, straightening/cleaning the house. At 4:30 we will stop school, whether the kids are done or not. We’ll all do a quick pick-up and then I’ll start dinner. If the kids need to finish up a subject or two, that will need to wait until after dinner. The consequence for not working diligently will be that they miss our family time that happens in the evening.
6(ish)pm Dinner. We like to eat early around our house. What can I say — we’re hungry people! So dinner might even happen closer to 5:30pm.
After dinner: Family time. We like to watch movies or play games, especially on nights when Dad is home. Or we just hang out and read, all in the same room. Or whatever. No planning here, just whatever we feel like doing.
10pm Bedtime prep for me. If I’m going to have to wake up to an alarm, then I need to be disciplined to get to bed. Yup.
10:30 Lights out. If I make it this far, lol!
And there it is! This is my proposed homeschool schedule for this year. I am well aware that this is going to be hard. I am
lazy a free spirit who likes to just go with the flow most of the time. But if I want my kids to learn discipline and diligence and hard work, then I need to model those qualities. Our kids need this example even more at the high school age than they ever have before. I need to show them what being a responsible adult looks like. Me. I need to do this. The schedule is really more for me than them, y’all. But having a schedule does give them a structure in which to practice those behaviors for themselves.
Here’s my hope, though: I hope that after we’ve used this schedule for awhile, it can become more of a routine. That we won’t need to be so tied to specific times of day and can just work naturally through our duties. Because I’ll be honest with you; schedules and I don’t usually stay friends for long. I usually begin to chafe at the sameness of every day, or on a hormonal day I might just want to change things up a bit for my own sanity… and the kids’ preservation, lol.
So we’ll see!! I’m definitely excited to see how this works! (I love that “new school year” anticipation, don’t you?) :-)
Do you keep to a tight schedule or do you favor more of a routine?
Linking up at the iHomeschool Network “NOT” Back-to-School Blog Hop with other moms who are sharing about their daily lives as homeschoolers!!